Recently naturalized clients from Esperanza Immigration Legal Services (EILS) led the “Pledge of Allegiance” before the official Democratic National Convention proceedings including Hillary Clinton’s prime-time nominee acceptance speech on Thursday, July 28th.
The two EILS clients who recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” are Smith Chafil Alvarez Hernandez and Chafil Smith Alvarez Hernandez, twin brothers originally from the Dominican Republic who naturalized with EILS’ assistance at the end of last year. Their ethnic heritage is of both Saudi Arabian and Dominican descent, a unique and timely combination considering the backdrop of this contentious election season.
“Citizenship has always been our most popular service at Esperanza Immigration Legal Services and we have never seen such a surge in naturalization applicants as we have this year,” said Mary Clark, Executive Director of EILS, “Our clients have expressed a real sense of urgency to apply for citizenship this year, not only to be able to vote in the November elections, but also to be able to secure their status in this country and that of their families.”
EILS was formed in 2009 with the mission to provide community education, advocacy and direct legal services to immigrants and their families, so that they may participate in and benefit fully from American society. EILS is located at Esperanza’s offices in the heart of the low-income Latino Hunting Park neighborhood in North Philadelphia.